East Coast (train operating company)
|Franchise(s):||InterCity East Coast
14 November 2009 – February 2015
|Main region(s):||Greater London
East of England
Yorkshire and the Humber
North East England
|Fleet size:||InterCity 125 (HST) sets|
|Stations called at:||53|
|National Rail abbreviation:||GR|
|Parent company:||Directly Operated Railways|
East Coast1 is a publicly owned British train operating company running high-speed passenger services on the East Coast Main Line between London, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland. It commenced operations on 14 November 2009.2
East Coast is a subsidiary of Directly Operated Railways, formed by the Department for Transport as an operator of last resort when National Express refused further financial support to its National Express East Coast (NXEC) subsidiary and consequently lost its franchise.3 The franchise was re-nationalised on 14 November 2009, with the intention being that operations would return to a private franchisee by December 2013.4 In March 2013 the Secretary of State for Transport announced that this would occur in February 2015 instead.5 The three bidders announced in January 2014 to take over the rail franchise from East Coast were: East Coast Trains Ltd (owned by FirstGroup plc); Keolis/Eurostar East Coast Limited (a consortium of Keolis and Eurostar); and Inter City Railways Limited (Stagecoach and Virgin).6
East Coast operates long-distance passenger services principally from London King's Cross to Edinburgh via Newcastle, and from King's Cross to Leeds, with other services reaching into Yorkshire and Northern and Central Scotland. It has claimed that more people travel from Leeds to London, and from London to Leeds, than on any other southbound or northbound long-distance journey with East Coast.7
- 1 Principal services
- 2 Limited Service
- 3 Rolling stock
- 4 Performance
- 5 TV series
- 6 References
- 7 External links
This is the busiest East Coast service – half-hourly, with one train per hour serving Peterborough, Doncaster, Wakefield Westgate and Leeds, while the other serves Stevenage, Grantham, Doncaster, Wakefield Westgate and Leeds. At weekends, they call at Stevenage every two hours while Peterborough, Grantham, Newark, Doncaster and Wakefield are served hourly.
East Coast operates a half-hourly service between King's Cross and Newcastle Central (one fast, one semi-fast) for most of the day, departing from London on the hour and the half-hour. The top-of-the-hour trains to Scotland run as limited-stop expresses between London and Newcastle (as seen below). The half-hour train calls at Peterborough, Newark, Doncaster, York, Northallerton, Darlington, Durham and terminate at Newcastle. This train is extended to Edinburgh at peak times. At weekends, all daytime services to Newcastle continue through to Edinburgh, with some going non-stop.
This is East Coast's flagship route, serving the whole length of the East Coast Main Line; an hourly service from London to Edinburgh Waverley, calling at York, Darlington, Newcastle Central, Berwick-upon-Tweed and Edinburgh. Some of these trains also call at Peterborough. Occasionally there is a half-hourly service to Edinburgh with some Newcastle trains extended at peak hours. At weekends all services on the half-hour continue to Edinburgh from Newcastle.
During the day, services to London King's Cross from Edinburgh run every 30 minutes, one fast and one semi-fast. All trains call at Newcastle and most at Berwick upon Tweed, Darlington and York. In May 2011 East Coast re-introduced the historic Flying Scotsman service. This is an early-morning service to London King's Cross with a journey time of 4 hours, departing Edinburgh Waverley at 05:40, calling only at Newcastle Central at 07:03 and arriving at London at 09:40.
An hourly service runs between King's Cross and Newark, calling at all intermediate stations. This is extended to York every two hours, serving Retford and Doncaster and at peak times is extended to Newcastle. These services operate only on weekdays.
There is now only one direct through train per day in each direction between King's Cross and Glasgow Central departing King's Cross at 15.30 as an extension of a London to Newcastle service also calling at Edinburgh. A faster and much more frequent service to Glasgow operates from London Euston via the West Coast Main Line. There is no East Coast service to Glasgow on Saturdays.
These trains are extensions to the hourly London-to-Edinburgh service. There are three trains per day each way between King's Cross and Aberdeen, departing at 10:00 (The Northern Lights), 14:00 and 16:00, the journey time being just over seven hours. There is also one service per day in each direction between Leeds and Aberdeen. These services are operated by InterCity 125 sets, as the Edinburgh to Aberdeen line and York to Leeds section via Garforth are not electrified. This route makes use of the historic Forth and Tay bridges.
This is an extension of a London-to-Edinburgh service with a daily service operates between King's Cross and Inverness, departing at 12:00 with the southbound service departing Inverness at 7:55, named the Highland Chieftain. The journey takes just over eight hours and is operated by InterCity 125 sets, as the line between Edinburgh and Inverness is not electrified.
One train per day in each direction runs between Bradford Forster Square, Shipley and King's Cross via Leeds. This uses an electric InterCity 225 train as the route is fully electrified. This service offers the fastest journey time of 1hr 59m with a solitary stop at Wakefield Westgate on the way to London.
This is an extension of the London to Leeds service. Though the line to Skipton is electrified throughout, the East Coast service to/from the town was operated using a diesel HST because the electrical infrastructure on the Leeds to Skipton line was insufficient to support a Class 91 locomotive in addition to the Class 333 Electric Multiple Units that operate the local services from Leeds to Skipton.
However, tests took place on 16 January 2011 for the operation of InterCity 225s on this service.citation needed From the timetable starting 22 May 2011, the evening return train from Kings Cross is worked by an InterCity 225 (Monday – Fridays only).8
The Saturday run of the outward service is the only East Coast service out of Leeds not to call at Wakefield Westgate: from Leeds, this service takes the route via Micklefield and Hambleton Junctions to Doncaster. Although the other trains to/from Skipton use the InterCity 225, the Saturday run of the outward service uses the InterCity 125 because the alternative route used is not fully electrified.
On a Sunday only a Northbound service runs.
Since May 2011 a direct train from King's Cross to Lincoln Central has operated, with one service per day in each direction as an extension of the London – Newark service. This service uses a diesel InterCity 125 set as the Nottingham to Lincoln line is not electrified.
The Hull Executive runs between King's Cross and Hull, with one train per day each way. This service also uses InterCity 125 sets as the Hull line is not electrified. More frequent services between King's Cross and Hull are operated by First Hull Trains.
There is a Monday-Saturday morning departure from Harrogate to King's Cross also calling at Horsforth (Monday to Fridays only) via Leeds. There is an evening return, which does not call at Horsforth. This service uses a diesel InterCity 125 set as the Harrogate line is not electrified.
East Coast inherited the rolling stock operated by NXEC, comprising Class 43 diesel sets with their Mark 3 coaching stock (InterCity 125), and Class 91 electric locomotives and Mark 4 coaches (InterCity 225).
The original franchise holder, GNER, undertook a major refurbishment of its rolling stock from 2003, which it titled "Project Mallard". Between 2003 and 2006, the Mark 4 carriage fleet was upgraded and refurbished, while work started on refurbishing the Mark 3 coaches under GNER in early 2007. This work continued under NXEC, with the final InterCity 125 set completed in October 2009.9
Until October 2010, East Coast offered free Wi-Fi to passengers in both first and standard class. From 5 October 2010, a charge of £4.99 per hour or £9.99 for 24 hours was introduced for Standard Class passengers, with a 15-minute free allowance.10
As part of an overhaul of the InterCity 225 fleet, they were repainted into East Coast's silver livery. The repaint was started in June 2010 with the first full set (excluding loco) being released on 30 July 2010. The idea is that a plain base livery can be easily customised for any future operator of the franchise.11
|Trainset||Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Number||Routes operated|
|InterCity 125||Class 43||Diesel locomotive||125||200||32||London Kings Cross-Lincoln Central, Harrogate, Hull Paragon, Aberdeen & Inverness. Also Skipton-London King's Cross (Saturdays only) and Leeds-Aberdeen|
|Mark 3 carriage||Passenger carriage||125||200||117|
|InterCity 225||Class 91||Electric locomotive||140||225||31||London Kings Cross-Leeds, Bradford Forster Square, Newark North Gate, Skipton, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh Waverley & Glasgow Central|
|Mark 4 carriage||Passenger carriage||140||225||302|
|Driving Van Trailer||140||225||31|
The holder of the new East Coast franchise will participate in the Intercity Express Programme along with First Great Western. The project will replace the Intercity 125 and InterCity 225 fleets with new Hitachi high-speed trains, and provide additional electric trains. By December 2018 the new trains are planned to be running on the East Coast main line in 9-carriage or 5-carriage sets.1213
Originally East Coast were to receive five Class 180 Adelante DMUs. Due to a reduction in the number of extra services, and with Directly Operated Railways stating its unhappiness with the Class 180 units,14 they are no longer required and will not be used by East Coast. Instead, the five Class 180 units were sent to First Great Western for use on the Cotswold Line.
East Coast investigated using one 11-coach Pendolino from July 201115 but decided instead to lease an extra HST set from East Midlands Trains from May 2011, bringing the number of HSTs leased to 14.16
The fleet of Class 91 locomotives inherited by East Coast has carried various names up until 2008. In 2011, in response to customer requests, East Coast resumed the practice. It began by naming 91109 as Sir Bobby Robson, unveiled in a ceremony at Newcastle Central Station on 29 March 2011 by his widow Elsie and Alan Shearer, patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, which the company was also now a supporter of.1718
In February 2013, the company announced that one of their trains would be named "Skyfall" after the James Bond film of the same name, which featured trains extensively and became the highest-grossing film of all time in the United Kingdom.20
The latest performance figures to be released by Network Rail rate East Coast's performance up on the same period last year. This period (period 7 of 2013/14), punctuality rose 0.3 percentage points on last year to 89.3% PPM whilst the moving annual average fell to 82.8% (up to 12 October 2013).21
In November 2013 Sky1 HD started to broadcast a documentary series "All Aboard East Coast Trains". 22 One of the InterCity 225 sets was painted in a special blue livery which includes faces of employees that feature in the programes in order to promote the series.23
- Companies House extract company no 4659708
- "East Coast rail change confirmed". BBC News Online. 5 November 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2009.
- "East Coast rail to be state-run". BBC News. 1 July 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- "National Express East Coast franchise" (Press release). Department for Transport. 1 July 2009.
- "Railway plan puts new focus on passengers" Secretary of State for Transport statement 26 March 2013
- "Three bidders announced in competition for East Coast rail franchise". STV News. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- "About Us Facts and Figures". East Coast. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "Final East Coast HST set handed over", Railway Herald, Issue 200, p. 5.
- "East Coast > WiFi". National Express. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
- "'Silver link': East Coast IC225s to be reliveried". The Railway Magazine (London) 156 (1308): 6. April 2010. ISSN 0033-8923.
- "Intercity Rail Travel Presentation". Department for Transport. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2011.
- "Britain's Intercity Express Programme reaches financial close". International railway journal. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- Miles, Tony (November 2009). "DOR evaluates alternative to Adelante sets". Modern Railways (London): 74.
- "Test Pendolino for East Coast line raises Virgin hackles". RailNews (Stevenage). 13 August 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010.
- "East Coast leases 14th HST from May". Rail (Peterborough) (669). 4 May 2011.
- "Sir Bobby Robson name given to train". BBC News Online. 29 March 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
- "East Coast Names Train Sir Bobby Robson" (Press release). East Coast. 29 March 2011. Archived from the original on 29 March 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
- "Railfest 2012". York: National Railway Museum.
- "Rail performance results period 7". Network Rail.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to East Coast Main Line Company.|
- Official website
- Department for Transport Directly Operated Railways
- Department for Transport InterCity East Coast franchise
National Express East Coast
InterCity East Coast franchise
|Operator of InterCity East Coast franchise